What is a smart building? How can the IoT be used in smart buildings? These are important questions - both for those who erect these buildings, and for those who live in them. We will answer them by offering a definition and explaining some example uses.
The first smart buildings appeared in the late 1970s. These new buildings were first referred to as ‘intelligent’ in 1981. Applications already encompassed the management of: · heating; · ventilation; · air flow. These intelligent buildings had low energy consumption - for the time - thanks to improved efficiency. But they lacked the connectivity offered by the internet for a completely smart experience. The term smart building appeared in the early 2000s, with the boom in internet use.
Nowadays, we can sum up the smart building as optimised technical building management. This applies to how they work, the different equipment and energy consumption.
The smart building sector is largely occupied by IoT (Internet of Things) solutions. The Internet of Things is a collection of technologies familiar to the general public thanks to connected objects. The main object which makes a building smart is the smart sensor: it gathers and transmits data after having directly processed it, in some cases. Sensors are the bridge between the physical world and the digital world. They can use an IoT network, amongst others, to transport data to processing platforms that use it to offer valuable and profitable services. The smart building is a solution that mainly applies to professional buildings. Our partners like Adeunis or Sensing Labs offer a large range of devices in the Smart Building field.
But various IoT applications can still be applied to housing.
One employer obligation is to offer pleasant working conditions for their employees. IoT installations help improve employee daily life by automatically adjusting: · temperature, · lighting and · blinds based on preferences and the conditions outside. Absolutely everything can be connected in a building and become an intelligent IoT solution. Connected bins will indicate when they need to be emptied, before it becomes a problem. This connection can also measure the amount of waste to assess the impact on the environment.
Another example: checking the availability of meeting rooms and booking one quickly. Our partner Jooxter offers solutions in this field.
A building encompasses various services: water, gas, ventilation, air conditioning, etc. The smallest failure can have consequences on employee safety and comfort, and therefore on overall performance. To address these needs, discover our partners like E-novACT.
IoT technology and its sensors can monitor all these details and predict malfunctions or failures. This means they can start preventive maintenance. Example: maintaining air quality (carbon monoxide). Our partners such as Nanosense offer solutions in this field.
Also consider office equipment, primarily mechanical and electronic equipment, which threatens to stop working from one day to the next. IoT sensors can measure these risks and take appropriate action.
This fault prevention and reduction will be popular amongst users and the company, as time is saved and overall performance improves.
Building safety is a major issue.
The IoT is involved at all levels of safety:
Sensors can be fitted to doors at sensitive points to ensure they are closed, or restrict access to a few authorised individuals. A small fire or minor gas leak can be detected rapidly. Appropriate measures can then be taken. The Internet of Things also helps improve the working conditions of security officers. Smart sensors can detect unusual behaviour and attacks.
We need to use our imagination to consider all the potential uses of IoT in smart buildings. This is the only barrier to using the Internet of Things.
Smart buildings can also:
Offering a smart building to occupants means offering more than a space to work. It means offering a pleasant, safe place where the working surroundings improve performance.
Learn more about using the IoT in: